El Bulli

el bulli

El Bulli is a molecular gastronomy restaurant near the town of Roses, Spain (near the French border), run by chef Ferran Adrià. In early 2011, management announced that the restaurant would close that summer to reopen as a creativity center in 2014. Its main objective is to be a think-tank for creative cuisine and gastronomy and will managed by a private foundation. The former restaurant accommodated only 8,000 diners a season, but received more than two million requests. The average cost of a meal was €250. The restaurant itself operated at a loss since 2000, with operating profit coming from El Bulli-related books and lectures by Adrià. The location was selected in 1961 by Dr Hans Schilling, a German, and his Czech wife Marketta, who wanted a restaurant for a piece of land he had purchased. The name ‘El Bulli’ came from the French bulldogs the Schillings owned.

The first restaurant was opened in 1964. Ferran Adrià joined the staff in 1984, and was put in sole charge of the kitchen in 1987. In 1990 the restaurant gained its second Michelin star, and in 1997 its third. Menu items have included melon with ham, pine nut marshmallows, steamed brioche with rose-scented mozzarella, rock mussels with seaweed and fresh herbs, and passion fruit trees. Texturas is a range of products by Adrià and his brother Albert. Texturas include products such as Xanthan and Algin. Xanthan gum allows the user to use a very small amount to thicken soups, sauces and creams without changing the flavor. Algin is a key component of the ‘Spherification Kit’ and is essential for every spherical preparation: caviar, raviolis, balloons, gnocchi, pellets, and mini-spheres.

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